16 Ultras Ahlawy members arrested for protesting in Tahrir Square
Courtesy: Ultras Ahlawy Facebook page
 

A security source said 16 members of the Ultras Ahlawy group were arrested early on Sunday for protesting in Tahrir Square.

In an interview with independently owned Al-Shorouk newspaper, the security source added that Ultras members stormed the square, chanted against the police, and attacked security personnel by throwing flares at them.

The Ultras were reportedly protesting the banning of fans from Sunday night’s football game between Al-Ahly club and Cameroon’s Coton Sport.

15 young men and one woman were arrested after Central Security Forces were dispatched to the square.

Protesting without prior authorization has been banned in Egypt under the controversial Protest Law since November 2013.

State-owned Al-Ahram newspaper stated earlier today that the Ultras denounced Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim’s decision to prevent crowds from returning to stadiums during football matches.

Fans have been banned from attending games since April last year, following violence during an Al-Ahly soccer game in the African Cup of Nations. 

Last March, several Ultras groups issued a joint statement demanding the replacement of police forces with security guards from private companies at football games to reduce clashes.

Bloody clashes at football matches have been a regular occurrence in the last few years, the most violent of which was in February 2012, when 72 Al-Ahly fans were killed during a football match in Port Said against rival team Al-Masry.

Security forces present at the game were blamed for closing the gates to the stadium, causing a stampede among fans trying to escape. 

Following the riot, the government banned domestic league matches for two years. 

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